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Andrew Bourke ASKED THE GUIDE

Ford Territory ball joints balls-up?

An independent inspection on my newly purchased 2006 Ford Territory suggested the left lower control arm ball joint requires replacement, which I know is a common complaint. My local dealer advised me that the ball joints were replaced as part of the Ford service campaign in 2012 at approx. 67,000 km. The car is now at 138,000 km. For the 'revised' part to fail in roughly the same kind of kilometres is bad enough, but Ford has indicated to me that they are not likely to cover the cost of replacement. Surely, as this is a known issue and has been acknowledged as an issue by Ford by way of the service campaign, they could replace the joints again at their cost? It's a shame to see the revised part has a short lifespan. What do you think of Ford's decision?

A design flaw in the front suspension is the cause of the wear in the Territory ball joints, one that was fixed with the new suspension in the updated Series II model. You would hope that the revised control arms Ford released for the early Territory eliminates the wear issue, but they don’t address the fundamental design problem with the suspension that causes the ball joints to wear. In your case it seems the revised arms didn’t do the job, and I would press Ford to come to the party to replace the ball joints on your car at its expense.

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